buy steel shipping containers August 6, 2023 – Posted in: Uncategorized

Buying Steel Shipping Containers: A Comprehensive Guide

buy steel shipping containers

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New and Used Steel Shipping Containers

buy steel shipping containers

If you’re in the market for a steel shipping container, whether it’s for storage, shipping, or repurposing, it’s important to make an informed decision to maximize your investment. With the wide range of options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right container for your needs. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about buying steel shipping containers, including cost, size options, condition considerations, customization possibilities, and more. buy steel shipping containers

Steel Shipping Containers: An Overview

Shipping containers, also known as “conex boxes” or “freight” containers, have revolutionized the transportation and storage industry. These uniformly-sized containers have drastically improved the efficiency of cargo handling, reducing the time it takes to unload a cargo ship from days to hours. Made of durable steel, these containers are designed to withstand the rigors of international shipping.

Size Options

Steel shipping containers come in various sizes to accommodate different needs. The most common sizes include 8-foot, 10-foot, 20-foot, and 40-foot containers. Here’s an overview of the dimensions and specifications for each size:

Container SizeExternal Dimensions (LxWxH)Internal Dimensions (LxWxH)Cubic VolumeLoad CapacityAverage Cost
8-foot8 ft x 7 ft 2 in x 7 ft 4 in7 ft 6 in x 6 ft 11 in x 6 ft 9 in351 ft311,143 lbs.$1,200 to $3,400
10-foot9 ft 10 in x 8 ft x 8 ft 6 in9 ft 3 in x 7 ft 8 in x 7 ft 10 in561 ft319,530 lbs.$1,500 to $3,750
20-foot19 ft 10.5 in x 8 ft x 8 ft 6 in19 ft 3 in x 7 ft 8 19⁄32 in x 7 ft 9 57⁄64 in1,169 ft361,289 lbs.$2,900 to $6,750
40-foot40 ft x 8 ft x 8 ft 6 in39 ft 5 45⁄64 in x 7 ft 8 19⁄32 in x 7 ft 9 57⁄64 in2,385 ft357,759 lbs.$2,900 to $6,750

These sizes offer a wide range of options for various applications, from storage and housing to retail and shipping. It’s essential to choose a size that suits your specific needs.

New vs. Used Containers

When buying a steel shipping container, one crucial consideration is whether to opt for a new or used container. Used containers are more affordable and can still serve many purposes, but they may have signs of wear and tear, such as rust, dents, or damaged floorboards. The International Standards Organization (ISO) conducts inspections on shipping containers, giving them a rating based on quality and safety. It’s important to assess the condition of a used container and inquire about its previous use and storage environment.

New containers, on the other hand, provide the assurance of a pristine condition and a longer lifespan. They are especially suitable for shipping purposes, where container condition standards are stricter. New containers also eliminate concerns about potential chemical contamination from previous spills. Consider your specific requirements and budget when deciding between new and used containers.

Cost Considerations

The cost of a steel shipping container can vary depending on several factors, including size, condition, customization, and delivery. On average, the price for a used 20-foot container ranges from $1,400 to $3,000, while a new 20-foot container typically costs between $2,000 and $5,000. It’s important to obtain quotes from reputable dealers and compare prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal.

Customization Options

One of the advantages of steel shipping containers is their versatility and potential for customization. Containers can be modified to meet specific needs, such as adding windows, ventilation, insulation, electrical wiring, shelving, and more. When purchasing a container, consider whether it already has the necessary modifications or if you’ll need to make customizations yourself. Pre-modified containers can save you time and money, as well as ensure that your container is ready to meet your requirements.

Tips for Buying High-Quality Shipping Containers

Now that we’ve covered the basics of steel shipping containers, let’s delve into some tips for purchasing high-quality containers that will meet your needs and stand the test of time.

1. Determine Your Needs

Before starting your search for a shipping container, it’s crucial to determine your specific needs. Consider factors such as size, condition, intended use, and required modifications. By identifying your requirements upfront, you can narrow down your options and make a more informed decision.

2. Inspect the Container

When purchasing a shipping container, it’s essential to inspect it thoroughly for signs of damage or wear. Look for rust, dents, holes, and check the functionality of the doors and locking mechanism. Inspecting the container in person allows you to assess its condition and identify any potential issues before making a purchase.

3. Consider the Grade

Shipping containers are typically graded based on their condition. “New” containers have never been used for shipping, while Grade A containers are gently used with minor scratches or dents. Grade B containers show more noticeable signs of wear but are still structurally sound. Grade C containers are of the lowest quality and may require significant repairs. Choosing a higher-grade container can save you money by reducing the need for repairs and increasing its lifespan.

4. Choose a Reputable Dealer

When buying a shipping container, it’s crucial to choose a reputable dealer with a proven track record. Look for a company that sells high-quality containers and provides excellent customer service. Reading reviews and asking for references can help ensure that you’re working with a trustworthy seller who can provide all the necessary documentation.

5. Consider Modifications

Think about the modifications you may need for your container and whether the container can accommodate them. Adding windows, ventilation, insulation, or electrical wiring may be necessary for your specific use case. Opting for a container that already has the required modifications can save you time and money on customization.

6. Think Long-Term

Buying a shipping container is an investment, so it’s important to think long-term. Consider the intended lifespan of the container and choose one that will meet your needs for years to come. While higher-quality containers may have a higher upfront cost, they can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for repairs or replacement.

7. Compare Prices

Obtain quotes from different dealers and compare prices to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Keep in mind that the cost of a container can vary based on size, condition, customization, and delivery. Take the time to research and find the most cost-effective option for your specific requirements.

8. Delivery Considerations

Discuss delivery fees with the dealer and consider the distance and accessibility of the delivery location. Longer distances or challenging access may incur additional costs. Ensure that the delivery area has the necessary clearance and a flat, firm, and dry surface for the container to sit on.

9. Permitting and Regulations

Be aware of the permitting requirements and regulations in your area regarding the use of shipping containers. Some locations may require permits or have specific restrictions. Check with your local county or municipal office to ensure compliance and avoid any fines or penalties.

10. Renting vs. Buying

Consider whether renting a container may be a more suitable option for your needs. Renting can be cost-effective for temporary projects or when you don’t require a container for an extended period. Evaluate the pros and cons of renting versus buying to make an informed decision. buy steel shipping containers


Buying a steel shipping container is a significant decision that requires careful consideration of your specific needs, thorough inspection, and working with a reputable dealer. By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can maximize your investment and ensure that the container you choose meets your requirements for years to come. Whether it’s for storage, shipping, or repurposing, a high-quality steel shipping container can provide a versatile and durable solution for your business or personal needs.

Remember to take the time to research different options, obtain quotes, and compare prices to make an informed decision. With the right container, you can enjoy the benefits of secure and efficient storage or shipping, knowing that you’ve made a wise investment in a high-quality steel shipping container.

Additional Information:

  • It’s important to consider the location and accessibility of the delivery area when purchasing a shipping container.
  • Depending on your needs, renting a container may be a cost-effective option for temporary projects.
  • Customizing a container can enhance its functionality and better suit your specific requirements.
  • Always ensure compliance with local permitting and regulations when using shipping containers for storage or other purposes. buy steel shipping containers

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